Camping in the Everglades
Camping is my new thing. There’s always something going on somewhere in Miami, so I get my city fix during the week. On the weekends, I’ve been trying to get out to enjoy some of the national parks. My first weekend camping adventure involved a trip to the Everglades. Staying in the South Florida swamps is usually not recommended during the summer due to mosquitos, but I’m pretty bad at waiting things out. Once I get an idea in my head, it’s fairly difficult for me to postpone that plan for a few months. I like to just go. On the plus side, the lack of popularity this time of year made for some quiet backcountry camping, which is exactly what I wanted.
The first night involved setting up camp at an easily accessible campsite. It was too late to venture further out, so camping near the park’s amenities was about the only option. Besides the mosquitos, the camping area was perfectly decent. There weren’t too many other people, and it was simple to pack up camp for the next day’s adventures. Plus, we had some boxed wine. Everything is better with wine.
After a night of waging war against against the Everglades’ insect air force, it was time to pick up a canoe and find something slightly more interesting. After paddling for 13 miles, we arrived at a chickee in a secluded lagoon. Since we were actually surrounded by water, the mosquitos were not all that bothersome. The South Joe River chickee was just about the perfect camping location.
While we didn’t see any other people for 2 days, the lagoon was home to some other inhabitants. We were told that the waters housed alligators, crocodiles, and sharks, but dolphins were the most prevalent.
After another night and 13-mile canoe ride, it was time to make our way back toward the city: tired, sore, not smelling the best, but already planning the next trip.